Passero

4.5
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836 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Italian
Passero is a trattoria-inspired American restaurant located in downtown Arlington Heights. It is the collaboration of Italian-American heritage over many generations and the culinary interpretations of Chef Matt Peota. By sourcing ingredients from the surrounding areas the dishes also reflect the seasonality of the Midwest.

Passero translates to “sparrow” in Italian, and like the sparrow this neighborhood eatery symbolizes joy, creativity and hard work. Passero serves as a reminder that busy hands and minds promote a happy and full life.
What 836 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AH
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience2

The new space is not as cozy as the original space, and feels a little more generic. But they needed more space and are filling it up. The biggest issue is with service. I've been to the new spot twice since opening and service has been poor.

LW
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food4service3ambience4

They have relocated to a larger venue, yay. I did not appreciate that the waitress didn’t warn me that I was going to be charged $11.00 for a can of White Claw because they usually mix it with vodka.
The prices are astronomical and portions are small for what you pay.
I also hated that the wait staff now stands in front of you when you are paying and hands you a bulky machine and tells you to “add your tip and sign”
I will not be returning to Passero.

NC
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious!!

M
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

After trying and failing to get a Saturday dinner reservation, we didn't realize that Sunday afternoon would be a different (brunch) menu, so with out-of-town guests we were very disappointed to not be able to get their fabulous pull-apart garlic bread. What we did get was very good, no complaints, and we will be back.

MO
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for a family brunch for my going away party, we had a large group and we were taking care of from start to finish! We decided to order a bunch of options and share, I am so glad we did! WE LOVED EVERYTHING! We probably could have order a couple less items, but we really enjoyed the Breakfast Pizza, Bodega Sammie, chopped salad, & pancakes (omg with the butter and granola!).... we ordered other items and it was all so good. The new restaurant looks amazing and is so inviting with the colors of Navy & White. I absolutely would recommend this for brunch- done forget to get the bottomless cocktails 😉

Thank you for an amazing day!

Michele

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Had to send one entree back due to unexpected spice. Chicken parm was substantial but pasta and sauce lacking. Cocktails seemed light on alcohol. Way too noisy. Fatty pasta carbonara.

KS
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed the new location. Everything great as usual

JN
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience2

The overall experience did not meet my expectations. We had dined previously at Passero’s previous location which enjoyed very much, food, service and ambiance. The noise level made dining conversation difficult at times. The food was average, at best, for the price. My wife’s entree was so Spivey she could not eat it (it was a dish she had a number of times at the original Passero). I had gnocchi and it had a small amount of sauce making it dry and one of the worst gnocchi dishes compared to other restaurants offerings. The wine list was limited and a bit pricey.
I understand they have been at the new location a very short time and have a number of issues to remediate which I am sure they will. I would not recommend going to Passero during peak dining times until things get settled in. We do plan on coming back in a few months as I am certain the dining experience then will be comparable to what we experienced at Passero’s original location.

DS
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience4

was not as good as expected after seeing Check Please episode. Wanted more. We had several different dishes, 3 apps, 6 different dinners. Nothing really wowed, very average at best.

AB
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun place. Great food, Good Vibe, excellent service

Make reservations at least a day in advance

OT
Caribbean
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The “Nice Piece of Fish” was delicious. So were the donuts, octopus, and truffle pizza! Not a fan of the mixed drink I got, so I switched to wine.

KZ
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Food was very good and the new location is quite nice if a bit noisy. My issue is with the pricing. I paid $40 with tax and tip for 1 dish of pasta with 1 smallish sized meatball and 1 glass of wine. That’s it...no bread was offered, no salad included. I am more than willing to pay for good quality food, but I thought this was a bit excessive.

LD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

True Italian taste, almost perfect Italian menu spelling...it would be great if anyone in the restaurant could actually speak a few words of Italian...that would make it just perfect.

f
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent service. Food was good. Would definitely return.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

So good! Thank you!

r
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

All very good, server Lauren was terrific. See you soon.

a
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great and service even better can’t wait to go again

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The atmosphere has definitely changed with the new location, from cozy & intimate to contemporary & lively but that isn't a bad change, just different. The four in our party all enjoyed their entrees and the service was friendly and informed. the cauliflower appetizer was really outstanding, and the brisket sandwich is a favorite.

DS
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We have been to Passero’s numerous times in the past. The food is great, but we would like to see some seasonal specials or some changes to the menu as we have tried most Everton the menu.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excellent!

Report
MI
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Good food! Your new restaurant is very busy and we were rushed out. Did not like it!

A
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We had a great time. Food was excellent. We mostly did appetizers- whipped ricotta, Brussels sprouts and I think cauliflower. Happy to see pizza on the menu. Loved the meatball pizza. Our reservation was for 7 and we didn’t get seated till 7:30 that was my only complaint but it wouldn’t stop me from going again.

JS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were very happy they found a larger venue for their dining concept. The new location is a great addition to the downtown.
The passion and dedication is felt more than ever.

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Hostess was rude not welcoming

E
Chicago
39 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Simply delicious. I'm so happy to see this phenomenal restaurant thriving in a bigger footprint where it's booked out on Monday nights. Every dining experience at Passero has featured new seasonal dishes as the menu is constantly changing and I can't possibly get stuck in a rut of ordering the same thing every time. But we might have to get in quickly before the short ribs with polenta aren't on the menu because my husband had those and I want to have some alone time with that dish :)

B
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just opened about 1 month but the service, food and everything was excellent. Definitely will come again.

J
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall1food1service4ambience3

Food is overpriced and poor quality. Fish was terrible. More like you get from Denny's. $26 for breaded fish and green beans no potatoes at restaurant. Others had the steak he said was not good, comes in little bowl. Daughter had Vodka Sauce pasta was ok but not worth the high price and be half that at Olive Garden. We went because its always busy but its total rip off. Our bill was $188 for 3 people one kid. Go to the nearby Armands, food quality is better and prices are more reasonable. I asked for rolls with my fish, can they at least give you a nice baked bread, they were stale. Couldn't eat them. Just moved into the area and wanted to try this place. We tried the wine bar and the food was outstanding and half price as this place, Armands is good also. Well you live and learn.

ML
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

First visit to Passero. Server was friendly and service was efficient. The food was good but nothing stood out in comparison to other small local Italian eateries. The desserts were the most unique and memorable part of the meal. I’m not a big ‘dessert person’ normally, but I really liked the two that we ordered. I indicated ‘birthday’ in the reservation remarks but that was never acknowledged by the host or server and I didn’t say anything more about it. Passero was fine overall but I don’t understand the effusive praise from many previous reviews.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great family restaurant. Everything was perfect

M
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Overpriced and it still looks like California
Pizza Kitchen.

N
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Would recommend the pull apart bread and also the ragu as an entree

N
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service1ambience3

Made reservations a few days ago for an early Sat dinner to celebrate my MIL’s bday. The only reservation for 5 was at 3pm, booked it, noted my MIL’s bday. Called later to double check that it was the only time available, it was. Rec’d a call today confirming our reservation, the gentleman confirmed 3 was the only time available, they were filled with reservations. And he confirmed my MIL’s bday. We arrived at 3, the restaurant was half full, in the almost 2hrs we were there it was never full. There was a baby shower when we were there but they were already done eating. The table in front of the door needs to go, so drafty, we asked for a different table. Our server was very nice, but very slow. Didn’t offer anything special to add, I did ask for the garlic bread that I’ve at dinner time, it’s not on the lunch menu, they accommodated this request. From the moment we sat down it was slow, receiving our food wasn’t slow, but everything else was. Too much time between being seated & greeted, ordering apps, ordering our meals, I had to ask for coffee. When it was delivered I had to ask for the dessert menu. My kids mentioned it was Grandma’s bday, it was acknowledged when she ordered her dessert. The dessert came, it was set down, she said Happy Birthday and walked away. Not even a candle, so we quietly sang to her. My husband had to wave her down with his credit card. The music was quiet and then it got loud before we left. It was also dark in the restaurant, even with the natural lighting. The food was good, my daughter asked for no onions on her sandwich. Most of them were off, but she had to dig some out. We had high expectations after a not so great experience at the previous location, this one was less than our previous experience.

M
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Since moving to the new location, portion sizes are much smaller than previous and service is not very attentive. Food is still of good quality though just not a good value any longer.

t
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Big change from the smaller venue. Thought ambiance was not as nice and service and attention to detail was lacking.

FD
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Walleye was very good but the Carbonara was a bit strange with the ingredients in it. Also they didn't give me any parmesan cheese for the pasta or bread for the table until we asked for it. The bread was in the form of rolls and not Italian bread given at the other Italian restaurants in the area. Food came out quickly but the server was slow at 5pm in the afternoon.
For the price, we expected more. They need to close off the bright white tiled kitchen from the eating area to improve the ambiance. This is the new location which was a California pizza kitchen. Our friends tried the pizza and were not impressed.
I would rank it #3 behind the other two Italian restaurants within walking distance in downtown Arlington Heights.

KB
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious, our server was so attentive, and we had a wonderful time!

NC
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New location same great food!!!
Always outstanding!!

C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Try the whipped ricotta it’s to die for!

G
Chicago
98 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place! Amazing food and drinks. Great service!

JS
London
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the new location. The kitchen is still at its high standards. Service was friendly and attentive even on a busy Nee Years Eve.